Disciple: By practising the disciplines taught above,
one may get rid of the obstacles that are in the mind,
viz. ignorance, doubt, error, etc., and thereby attain
quiescence of mind. Yet, there is one last doubt. After
the mind has been resolved in the heart, there is only
consciousness shining as the plenary reality. When thus
the mind has assumed the form of the Self, who is there
to enquire? Such enquiry would result in self-worship.
It would be like the story of the shepherd searching
for the sheep that was all the time on his shoulders!
The jiva itself is Shiva; Shiva Himself is the jiva.
It is true that the jiva is no other than Shiva. When
the grain is hidden inside the husk, it is called paddy;
when it is de-husked, it is called rice. Similarly,
so long as one is bound by karma one remains a jiva;
when the bond of ignorance is broken, one shines as
Shiva, the Deity. Thus declares a scriptural text. Accordingly,
the jiva which is mind is in reality the pure Self;
but, forgetting this truth, it imagines itself to be
an individual soul and gets bound in the shape of mind.
So its search for the Self, which is itself, is like
the search for the sheep by the shepherd. But still,
the jiva which has forgotten its self will not become
the Self through mere mediate knowledge. By the impediment
caused by the residual impressions gathered in previous
births, the jiva forgets again and again its identity
with the Self, and gets deceived, identifying itself
with the body, etc. Will a person become a high officer
by merely looking at him? Is it not by steady effort
in that direction that he could become a highly placed
officer? Similarly, the jiva, which is in bondage through
mental identification with the body, etc., should put
forth effort in the form of reflection on the Self,
in a gradual and sustained manner; and when thus the
mind gets destroyed, the jiva would become the Self.*
The reflection on the Self which is thus practised constantly
will destroy the mind, and thereafter will destroy itself
like the stick that is used to kindle the cinders burning
a corpse. It is this state that is called release.
the obstacles which cause the bondage of birth may be
many, the root-cause for all such changes is ahankara.
This root-cause must be destroyed for ever. --Vivekachudamani.
If the jiva is by nature identical with the Self, what
is it that prevents the jiva from realizing its true
It is forgetfulness of the jiva's true nature; this
is known as the power of veiling.
Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India.